Upward Transitions is a therapeutic horsemanship program that provides mounted lessons as well as unmounted programs to individuals of all ages with a wide range of disabilities.
Our mission is to enhance the lives of individuals with physical, emotional, and/or cognitive challenges through horse-related programs by building coping and life skills to achieve their fullest potential.
Our vision is to provide both mounted and unmounted experiential learning opportunities for our riders, to include riding lessons, ground work, equine care and science, etc.
Our riding programs give independence to participants by enabling them to feel the freedom of sitting on top of a horse and leaving the confines of their disability behind. Our ground work programs allow for deep connection between the participant and horse, as well as providing the opportunity for more in-depth learning about horse care, training, and skill-building.
For individuals with cognitive or emotional challenges, the unique relationship formed between a rider and horse can lead to increased confidence, patience and self-esteem. Horses provide immediate, and non-judgmental, feedback giving participants the opportunity to adjust their thoughts, feelings, and/or behaviors without fear or shame. The therapeutic environment that horses provide cannot be duplicated in a clinical setting and as a result every participant benefits from their accepting and trusting interaction.
Founded in 2011 by Barbara Taylor and four other local professionals, UTTH started as a small, Saturday-only program with a vision of serving the veteran and disabled communities in San Antonio and the surrounding areas. First hosted by Happy Heart in Pipe Creek, TX, the program moved to Esperanza Farms in Helotes, TX in 2013.
Today, UTTH is located at the serene Reding Ranch and offers lessons 5 days a week as well as one-time workshops. Each horse is ridden by as many as 8 riders per week providing more than 250 therapy hours per year. Ridership demand continues to increase through referrals from doctors, therapists, and programs such as Clarity Child Guidance Center and Center for Healthcare Services. The recommendation and success of equine therapy and our program is evident in our enrollment, which grew 73% from our Fall 2017 semester to the Spring 2019 semester. Recognizing the tremendous need in our community, providing additional lesson times, workshops, and programs is our immediate goal.
PATH, Int’l Member Center
Upwards Transitions is a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) member center. PATH Intl. is the credentialing organization for accrediting centers and certifying instructors and equine specialists. Through our certification and accreditation programs, plus a wide variety of educational resources that include an annual regional and international conference, the association helps members start and maintain successful equine-assisted activities and therapies (or EAAT) programs. There are more than 62,000 volunteers, 5,011 credentialed professionals, 7,800 equines and thousands of contributors from all over the world at PATH Intl. Member Centers inspiring and enriching the human spirit. The mission of Upward Transitions echoes the PATH Intl. mission which is to promote safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs. For more information on PATH International visit www.pathintl.org.